Cultural diversity

News Releases / Speeches / Declarations

Diversité culturelle et négociations de la zone de libre-échange des amériques (zlea) - position du gouvernement du canada

Ministère des Affaires étrangères et du Commerce international

Ottawa, 21 février 2003 - 2003/02/21

Canada is seeking to have cultural diversity included in the FTAA agreement. Canada’s July 2001 proposal for the FTAA preamble included the following reference to cultural diversity: “Recognizing that countries must maintain the ability to preserve, develop and implement their cultural policies for the purpose of strengthening cultural diversity, given the essential role that cultural goods and services play in the identity and diversity of society and the lives of individuals.” Canada considers that a cultural exception under the FTAA would be the most effective way of dealing with these considerations until UNESCO develops a standard-setting instrument on cultural diversity that “would establish clear rules to enable countries to maintain policies that promote cultural diversity and accommodate the particular characteristics and social importance of cultural content, while respecting the rules governing the international trading system.” Furthermore, Canada invites FTAA countries to take an active role in this process. ( Available in French and English only )